Psalms of Honesty and Truth
Psalm 121, King James Version
1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
2 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
8 The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
I WILL LIFT MY EYES…
This hymn tells us who God is and what He does. It was probably written to be sung on the way to Jerusalem by the pilgrims walking to get to the place of God, to meet and worship Him with others in His Holy Place at the temple. People came from all the surrounding towns for the special occasion. The journey was long, treacherous and challenging, yet it was worth every step to make the trip. The Psalm reminds them that God is with them and will always help them.
Now, let us go back to the mid sixties in my journey. This “poem” was posted on the blackboard, in chalk, in my fifth grade classroom. We repeated it in unison every morning until we had committed it to memory. This was a public classroom in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma! Times were different. Our teacher was dedicated to God’s Word. She didn’t preach but she did tell us to memorize this “poem” as it was meaningful to her and would be to us. This came first, the flag salute was second in our morning routine after lunch count and roll call.
This moment in time was before other translations were popular and printed widely so our memory work of Psalm 121 was in the version I have just printed above. When I am troubled or perplexed, the first line of this psalm is the first thing that comes to mind to this day. I am immediately drawn back to that classroom that was taught by a teacher who was quietly passionate about God. When I recite the rest of they psalm in my mind, peace washes over me, and with God helping, I can face whatever comes by His strength.
As a “church kid” I remember telling the teacher I knew where that came from because it was my grandma’s favorite! With a twinkle in my teacher’s eye, she just smiled and nodded. What a powerful witness to this day! One small act by a caring teacher gave me credibility and the reminder that God never sleeps and will always help me…even in my classroom. Wow!
Times are different. I get that. Many things are not allowed like this moment in my journey, but our lives can still reflect His glory by the way we behave. St. Francis reportedly said, “Preach Jesus! and if necessary, use words.” I knew my teacher was a Christian before Psalm 121 went up on the board. Just sayin’.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for always being at work, never sleeping and helping us in our journey to be all You created us to be. Help us still as I know You will.
In Jesus Name, Amen